19 October 2007

Man! Booker Shortlist for Free?

This could be quite significant:

All the novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize could be made available online in a radical move being considered by publishers, it was reported today.

Negotiations are said to be in progress with the British Council to digitise the six shortlisted novels so they can be downloaded in full, all over the world.

It is hoped the initiative will capture new audiences - particularly in Asia and Africa - who may be unable to access the actual books.

Jonathan Taylor, chairman of The Booker Prize Foundation said the details of the plan are still being discussed. But it is thought to be linked to the 40th anniversary of the prize, which will be celebrated next year.

Those behind the venture hope it will boost, rather than detract from sales of the hard copy as readers who download the novel online, may be inspired to buy a paper version for themselves.

It's a brilliant idea - and not just because I've been espousing it for ages. It's brilliant because the Man Booker shortlist is perfect for this kind of approach.

Its books tend to be, er, rather intellectually dense, which means that you really wouldn't want to read an entire novel online. But you most certainly might want to read some of it to find out whether it's your cup of tea. And then, as the article rightly points out, such a scheme is likely to widen the audience for the shortlist books hugely. And of course, if it works for the Man Booker shortlist, others might suddenly see the logic too...

Go for it - seriously, man.


Egregius said...

Your blog's very beautiful and interesting.
francesco (Italy-Roma)

Glyn Moody said...

Grazie - lei è troppo gentile...

Anonymous said...

or perhaps use two illustrious reviews.p